Risks and Benefits of Dental Sedation in Adults

Sedation dentistry means administering the patient with sedative drugs. This relieves pain and places the patient in a very relaxed state and prevents dental anxiety during a dental procedure.

The commonly available methods for sedation in dental patients are oral sedation, inhalation sedation(here the patient breathes in nitrous oxide through a nasal hood), IV moderate sedation, and general anesthesia.

Dental sedation during medical procedures is very popular since it offers many benefits for the patient.

Is it safe?

On proper use by a qualified doctor, sedation can be a very safe option that makes dental procedures easier and less painful for the patients. It is a safer choice to choose a doctor who has the proper training and follows the correct steps. This makes dental sedation risk-free for adults and children. Some steps the doctor follows to make the procedure safe are:

  • Taking the patient’s medical history
  • Monitoring the patient’s heart rates and oxygen levels throughout the dental process.

Before the medical procedure discuss with your doctor all the available sedation options and how safe they are for you.

Benefits of sedation in adults

Sedation dentistry allows the patient to overcome their fear and anxiety. Also allowing for an effective and painless medical procedure. Some benefits are:

Relief from Anxiety

Dental anxiety is very common among people. They are fearful to undergo any medical procedure. There is fear about the pain or that the procedure may go wrong. This scares the people away from receiving the medical care they require. Dental sedation offers pain and anxiety free treatments to such patients.

Minimal gag reflex

The gag reflex is a hindrance when the doctor is working on the mouth. Gagging can lead to serious problems and its prevention will help a lot. Sedation helps in reducing the gag reflex and the doctor can carry on the work without causing any problems.

Relief from pain

Due to sedation, the patient will not endure any pain during the treatment and hence can be more comfortable. This is one of the top reasons for the need of sedation dentistry.

Efficient treatment by the doctor

Sedating the patients will stop them from fidgeting or moving when the dentist is working.  Hence the doctor does not need to worry about the patient’s reaction and can perform the treatment faster and more efficiently.

No memory of the procedure

Some patients are extremely fearful of undergoing the medical procedure. They do not want memories of anything that went on during the treatment. Sedation dentistry will help as the patient will have little memory of the time during the treatment.

Also Read: Knowing Age Related Macular Degeneration

Risks of Sedation in Adults


Adults can use dental sedation but the doctor should be careful to avoid any serious problems. It is preferable to use sedation in children only if there is an absolute need. Sedation could also be risky for elderly people if they have some underlying medical issues. There must be proper care to prevent any damage.


Pregnant women must avoid sedation at every stage of their pregnancy. If the patient suspects she is pregnant but is not sure, then she should inform the doctor without fail. Oral and IV sedation should be totally avoided in pregnant women.


The patient can turn out to be allergic to the medication used in dental sedation. The patient needs to inform the dentist of any allergies so the doctor can treat accordingly.

Nasal congestion

Sedation will be a problem in case the patient is suffering from a stuffy nose. During a cold, the patient might have trouble breathing in the sedation gas. This causes trouble as the sedation does not work properly on the body.

Intake of Alcohol

Alcohol should be avoided before undergoing any treatment under sedation. Drinking alcohol can cause some serious complications like breathing problems or lowering of blood pressure.

Respiratory Diseases

Patients suffering from any respiratory problems must avoid sedation. Some problems like breathing trouble and other side effects could occur if the patient takes in oral sedation.

Sleeping problems

Adults suffering from sleep apnea must avoid dental sedation. People who snore and are overweight must discuss this with their doctor before the medical procedure.


Sedation, when given properly by the doctor, will relax the patients and make them more comfortable and lessen dental anxiety. The doctor can treat more efficiently and spare the patient any pain when all the proper steps are taken. To avoid the risks in sedation dentistry the patient should inform the doctor of any medical-related issues and current medications.

Tags:  Dental sedation cost, iv Sedation dentistry what to expect, Sedation dentistry reviews

Photo of author

Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.